How important are urban environments?

Urban Land Use

Urban Stress

The Sustainable City

Maps and Urban Environments



What is Urbanization?
Urbanization is the growth and expansion of towns and cities. This is often in relation to the decline in populations of rural areas.
In urbanization, cities and towns are expanding physically and as a result also its populations. The populations may increase due to population growth of the city or the country as a whole but often mainly due to internal migration to the cities. Urbanization is also a form of migration.

Another full definition of urbanization

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What is the percentage of urban population in each country? Describe and explain the patterns you see.
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What have been the trends in urban and rural populations from 1950 to the current date? What trends do you foresee until 2030?
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There has been a growth in the number of cities with more than a million inhabitants

Is there a relationship between economic wealth and the percentage of people living in urban areas?
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What patterns and trends do you see on this graph? How are the world areas different from each other?

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What are the trends of urbanization in the developed and developing worlds?
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Study the bar graphs below. What do you notice in the changes in large urban areas from 1950 to 2025?
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Urbanization varies greatly in the world in terms of growth rates and patterns.

Rate of urbanization in the world




What is urban sprawl?
What is the impact of urban sprawl?

How does natural population change impact urban areas?

Slums, shantytowns, favelas, kampongs, barrios, bustees

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Natural change leads to greater urban population densities

What is the global Megacity?

The global megacity is a city which usually has a population of ten million or more inhabitants. These megacities are found most often in developing countries due to rapid urbanization and the resultant natural change increases. These are also cities where urban sprawl is most apparent.

Rural to urban migration is the main factor for their growth as rural inhabitants perceive the city as a place of job opportunities, welfare, education possibilities and all other attractions a city may possess. Urban sprawl becomes apparent due to the growth of shantytowns as there is not enough proper housing available for the large influx of rural migrants.
Many megacities in the developing world became so huge because they were former colonial capitals. In many colonies, governmental administration was centralized so all of the economic and political activities were concentrated here and after independence this was reinforced. We see this with Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia (Jakarta), the French in Indochina (Hanoi), and the British in India (Kolkata). However, other cities in the developing world were already great cultural and political cities without the impact of colonial rule such as Bangkok, Beijing, and Tokyo. Their status was further cemented in the late 20th century which allowed them to become megacities.

The rise of megacities